Natural gas catches coal in electricity generation for the first time

posted at 6:41 pm on January 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

President Obama grew increasingly demure about his heartfelt “necessarily skyrocketing” energy-price ambitions as we moved closer and closer to the election last November, but despite his administration’s many attempts at subtlety, they have been waging a steadfast war on coal through regulations and policies that are aimed at eventually forcing coal off of America’s energy map. Environmentalists tend to hate coal on principle as one of the dirtiest possible energy sources, but their only suggestions for economically meaningful replacements for coal, of course, have been renewable energies and biofuels that do not come even close to traditional fuel sources in terms of price efficiency, private-sector productivity, or net job creation, and are still on the receiving end of highly generous taxpayer subsidies of all kinds of forms.

But hey, check this out — yet again, natural gas and the private sector are accomplishing what big-government leftists and bureaucrats could not, and in ways that legitimately grow the economy and create instead of destroy well-paying jobs. Via RealClearEnergy:

According to preliminary figures just released by the Energy Information Administration, natural gas finally caught coal as the primary source of electrical generation for the first time in history last April. Figures are not yet available for the rest of the year. The preliminary figures are not final but generally do not change by more than .1 percent on review.

The graph tracks electrical generation in millions of megawatt-hours since 2007. The blue line at the top represent coal, the brow n represents natural gas, the yellow line is nuclear, the light green line is hydro, the dark green line is renewables other than hydro and the red line at the bottom is “others,” which generally means oil.

I say “yet again,” because our current reduction in our total carbon outputthe greenest of the green goals — is largely due to natural gas, and by extension, the practice of hydraulic fracturing against which the eco-radicals are waging their very own war. Ain’t free enterprise grand?


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This profiteering using natural resources must be stopped!!!

Leftists, China, GE bought off politicians, etc etc.

PappyD61 on January 7, 2013 at 6:50 PM

If coal is the heartbeat of America, then we’re dying.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Once again, Erika produces a rah rah pollyanna paean to ‘Forward!’, missing that it is NOT ‘success’ by Natural Gas, but rather their expanding to fill an artificially created vacuum, via the exo-marxist administration’s deliberate predations on the coal industry.

Natural gas is as much a fossil fuel as coal. The eco-marxist tyrants are seeking to break the back of capitalism in this nation and kill millions of ‘surplus’ Americans, by whatever method they can muster. Coal is merely first. They mean to put 50 million of us in village huts. And 250 million of us in mass graves.

rayra on January 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

From the graphs it seems like energy consumption is way down? I know there was something here on that a few days ago, but to see it on the graph like that send the wow fact up my arm.

watertown on January 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

From the graphs it seems like energy consumption is way down? I know there was something here on that a few days ago, but to see it on the graph like that send the wow fact up my arm.

watertown on January 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

I’d like to see a “totals” line. Natural gas usage is up, coal is way down. I wonder if energy consumption is down. We are losing our manufacturing base, which would bring it down. What do we make anymore.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM

watertown on January 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

.
Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM

.
BINGO . . . . . . . kudos to both of you.

listens2glenn on January 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

I’d like to see a “totals” line. Natural gas usage is up, coal is way down. I wonder if energy consumption is down. We are losing our manufacturing base, which would bring it down. What do we make anymore.

Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM

energy intensive industries are moving back into the US because of the cheap natural gas…(by the way, this will save us for the economic meltdown… lucky obama). the issue was the relatively hot winter that brought down some of the demand.

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

watertown on January 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

.
Paul-Cincy on January 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM

.
BINGO . . . . . . . kudos to both of you.

listens2glenn on January 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Pay no attention to these pesky facts, they will only confuse you and make your head hurt…

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

The new natural gas fired plant in Ga creates its own atmosphere. Water vapor. Clouds. Pretty under the lights. Or should I say above the lights.

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Natural gas catches coal in electricity generation for the first time

…well we can’t have that…can we?

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

What do we make anymore.

Not much. The industrial base has been run out of our country, along with the jobs it supported, thanks to the EPA.

RADIOONE on January 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

The new natural gas fired plant in Ga creates its own atmosphere. Water vapor. Clouds. Pretty under the lights. Or should I say above the lights.

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Nooooo the natural gas is making Mother Gaia weep….

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 7:07 PM

What do we make anymore.

Not much. The industrial base has been run out of our country, along with the jobs it supported, thanks to the EPA.

RADIOONE on January 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Why would we need a manufacturing base when we can Tax millionaires and Billionaires… o_O

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Lol! Its pretty. ; )

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:12 PM

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Lol! Its pretty. ; )

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Why you want Mother Gaia to cry… Can’t you see those are tears of pain and anguish????

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 7:12 PM

This will eventually mean an increase in natural gas prices, as consumption increases and gas in working storage decreases. The good part of that, is that shale plays like the Barnett and others that are dry gas have really slowed down, about 1/4 the number of rigs drilling in those plays vs the peak in 2008. Higher prices will increase drilling activity, which will then stabilize and moderate the prices.

Unless the EPA prevails, and hydraulic fracturing is shut down. In which case, we’re screwed on all fronts. Coal will still be there, but ramping up production and converting power generation back to coal will take time, lots of inertia.

iurockhead on January 7, 2013 at 7:16 PM

SWalker on January 7, 2013 at 7:12 PM

They looked more like happy tears to me. Expensive, but happy.

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Wonder how much of the decline in coal power is due to the EPA forced closures of viable coal fired plants via MAC regulations?

djtnt on January 7, 2013 at 7:20 PM

djtnt on January 7, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Short read.

Bmore on January 7, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Let’s use capitalism on libtards: buy them for what they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth.

hip shot on January 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Sorry, but all Naturel Natural generates from Barry Hussein McDonald

kenny on January 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

All Naturel Gas generates from Barry Hussein McDonald Period.

kenny on January 7, 2013 at 7:37 PM

We went from horses to autos, sailing ships to steam and motor and into nuclear power. Coal to natural gas is only a transition.

mixplix on January 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Natural gas catches coal?

More like coal dies a slow death, natural gas waddles by.

fogw on January 7, 2013 at 8:06 PM

energy intensive industries are moving back into the US because of the cheap natural gas…(by the way, this will save us for the economic meltdown… lucky obama). the issue was the relatively hot winter that brought down some of the demand.

nathor on January 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

No.

This happened in summer every other summer total generation was way higher than winter because of air conditioning of course. Except 2012.

I have a difficult time believing the chart. Do not see how power usage could drop that much in a year.

Steveangell on January 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I’m wondering how taking a personal 747 to go to Hawaii for a vacay fits all this green the environment and redistribute the wealth crap.

IlikedAUH2O on January 8, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Ain’t free enterprise grand?

Until the bolsheviks finally strangle it with policy.

But, until then; AMEN, Sister. Amen.

locomotivebreath1901 on January 8, 2013 at 9:15 AM